Friday, March 03, 2006

The second time around

Donald Miller wonders what would happen if the second coming of Christ was different than most people imagine:
But what if the guys playing the horns turned out to be a few men playing on a street corner in a small town in Arkansas, and what if the horse Jesus rode in on wasn’t a Kentucky thoroughbred, but a belligerent donkey? And what if Jesus, after He got here, frequented homeless shelters and bars and ate and drank with the kinds of cultures evangelicals have declared war against? And what if, when He came like a thief in the night, He came very quietly so that nobody noticed, and what if, crime of all crimes, He was ugly and when He went on CNN producers were uncomfortable with His appearance and only shot Him from the waist up, in a certain light? And what if, when He answered questions, He talked with a hick accent, and only spoke in parables that nobody could understand, and what if He didn’t align Himself with a political party, and what if He didn’t kiss anybody’s butt?

If you ask me, He’d have to do a lot of miracles to overcome all that stuff. And even then, most of the people who would follow Him would be people who were oppressed, marginalized, and desperate. (Searching for God Knows What)
I heard a preacher comment one time on the question Jesus asked Philip in John 14: "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?" He said the phrasing could also suggest that Jesus was saying, "Have I been so long time with you, that thou hast not known me, Philip?" Thus perhaps Jesus was implying that sometimes familiarity truly breeds contempt.

Could it be that the 21st century world in which the Church seems so firmly entrenched has caused many believers to fail to recognize the true Christ -- the true heart and motivation of Jesus Himself? Miller's right: He'd have to do a lot of miracles to overcome all that stuff.

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